Nixon sees off 41 National Guardsmen bound for Afghanistan

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Members of the Missouri National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team VI listen as Gov. Jay Nixon speaks at the unit’s deployment ceremony in Jefferson City on Friday. The team is headed to Afghanistan after final training in Indiana. Photo by Tim Sampson/Missouri News Horizon.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missourians are quick to boast of their state’s agricultural acumen. And Gov. Jay Nixon was on hand Friday morning to help send off a group of National Guard Soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan to help develop agricultural business in the struggling, war-torn nation.

“The Missouri Agribusiness Development Team has set the standard for other troops being deployed to Afghanistan,” Nixon said, while addressing a crowed of servicemen and their families. “The work they do is critical to the mission.”

Gov. Jay Nixon at the deployment ceremony for the Missouri National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team VI in Jefferson City on Friday. The team is headed to Afghanistan after final training in Indiana. Photo by Tim Sampson/Missouri News Horizon.

Shortly after the deployment ceremony, the 41 National Guard soldiers that comprise ADT-IV were off to Camp Atterbery, Ind. for final training before being deployed. In Afghanistan, they will work with local residents to develop sustainable agribusiness practices.

Friends and family choked back tears as they heard from a number of state and local elected officials and National Guard officers. Perhaps the most emotional response came to the words spoken by Lt. Col. Andre Edison, who assumed command of the unit just several weeks ago.

“My number one goal is to bring our warriors back to you safely,” Edison told the families of the men he’ll now command.

Members of the Missouri National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team VI listen as Gov. Jay Nixon speaks at the unit’s deployment ceremony in Jefferson City on Friday. The team is headed to Afghanistan after final training in Indiana. Photo by Tim Sampson/Missouri News Horizon.